Being charged with criminal possession of a firearm is fairly serious, and the possible prison sentence can be significant. A conviction of criminal possession of a firearm can lead to the individual’s permanent loss of the right to possess deadly weapons, including hunting rifles. Each state has specific laws pertaining to the criminal possession of a firearm, and the laws can vary a great deal, as can the potential sentences. There are also federal laws governing criminal possession of a firearm on federal property, such as a military base or federal government building.
Criminal possession of a firearm can mean:
- possession of a legal firearm with intent to use it unlawfully
- possession of an illegal firearm (such as assault rifles)
- possession of a legal firearm without a permit
There are a number of other situations in which an individual may be charged with criminal possession of a firearm, including specific weapons that are banned in some states and not in others. Anyone moving from one state to another or traveling through with a firearm in their possession should investigate the laws pertaining to criminal possession of a firearm for each state.
In recent years, increased media attention has caused many prosecutors to more avidly pursuing cases involving criminal possession of a firearm. While successful convictions of individuals for the criminal possession of a firearm can cause an individual or administration to appear “tough on crime”, overeager prosecution can also lead to false charges or misinterpretations of the laws regarding criminal possession of a firearm.
A good defense attorney may be able to have the charges reduced or dropped. If the case goes to trial, an in-depth understanding of the state’s criminal possession of firearm laws will prove invaluable. If you or a loved one have been charged with criminal possession of a firearm, you should talk to an attorney about your legal options. A lawyer who has chosen to focus on cases involving the criminal possession of a firearm and other weapons charges will bring experience and expertise to your case that other attorneys may not be able to offer.